This past Sunday was by no means an ideal day for climbing rocks in Vedauwoo, Wyoming. The sun was sparse, the Wyoming winds reached 20 mph at times and the daylight was minimal. After tying in to climb the classic offwidth, Middle Parallel Space, I grabbed what would soon become the most important piece of gear for that climb. It wasn’t my #6 Camalot, but rather my Black Diamond Dirt Bag gloves. These tough full goat skin leather gloves are tough enough to withstand the brutal Sherman Granite of Vedauwoo, yet supple enough to give a solid belay.
After sitting at the top of the first pitch belay anchors for about an hour bringing up two partners, I realized how critical it was that I had snatched these gloves out of my pack before sending. With the 100 grams of insulation, the Dirt Bag kept all 10 of my digits nice and toasty even as my feet and body began to freeze in the harsh Wyoming elements.
This just goes to show that sometimes our most important piece of protection may not come off our rack in the form of a cam or nut, but rather a tough, warm garment that protects us from the elements in varying conditions.